By Diana Olmstead
Every year Northwest Harley-Davidson hosts their wildly popular Big Bad Bike Show and riders from all over Puget Sound enter their motorcycles in the show hoping for a chance to win one of their cool custom trophies. This year’s 21st Annual Big Bad Bike Show took place on Saturday, June 16th. The day started off right – nothing but sunshine in the sky. I hopped on my bike around 10am and headed towards Lacey, WA where Northwest H-D is located just off I-5 at Exit 111.
As I rumbled down the exit I looked over my left shoulder and saw that the parking lot was already filling up with bikes and people.
I pulled in, parked my scoot, removed my helmet and jacket and grabbed my camera. I was on a mission, I wanted to check out all of the bikes, the vendors, the band and the dealership.
Right away I noticed that the layout was different this year, the bike categories were spread out all the way to the Service Dept parking area, the beer garden and stage were set up on the east side of the dealership and the vendor booths were mixed in throughout the event layout.
As each hour went by, the place became more crowded as all types of people came to check out the bikes and the festivities. There were families with small children, couples, single people, military guys, and a few club and organization members.
The Northwest H-D staff members were easy to spot as they were sporting bright neon orange shirts and constantly hustling about.
I’d estimate that there were about 75 bikes entered in the following categories: Sportster, Dyna, Softail, Touring, Metric, Custom, Trike, Employee and Vintage.
I walked around and checked out each and every bike from top to bottom. Wow! There were some gorgeous bikes there! I also enjoyed watching how the spectators reacted to certain bikes because of their paint, customizations, creativity and workmanship.
Many of the bike owners brought lawn chairs and sat perched near their bikes eager to share information with those walking by.
I spoke with several bike show participants who said it was ok if they didn’t win, they were there for the camaraderie and to support this year’s chosen bike show charity – the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) which offers 20 holistic programs to wounded service members and their caregivers completely free of charge.
Northwest H-D has a very long history of supporting and giving back to our nation’s service members who bravely protect the freedom of this great country. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised from this event went directly to the Wounded Warrior Project to help fuel their programs.
The entry fee was $15 if you pre-registered, or $20 if you registered that day, and it included a t-shirt & reusable water bottle.
In addition to the bike show, there were a lot of other things happening – the 4 piece Seattle band, Colossal Boss, was rocking the crowd, many of whom were kicking back in the beer garden nearby sipping on an ice cold beverage.
There was a great variety of vendors to check out: Swamp Swag Creations, Hells Angels M/C Seattle, Tacos La Esquinita, Egg Roll Hut, CVMA 11-4, Artem Pin Stripping Signs & Graphics, Bikers at the Beach, Car Toys, America’s Credit Union, Aurora Lasik, Rolling Thunder Charities, Tacoma Vet Center, Olympia Light Riders, Costco, Veterans 1st Ride, O’Blarney’s Irish Pub, Eclipse Tattoo, John Hannukaine, and Max Meyers Law.
On the other side of the beer garden a couple of young ladies were having fun while washing down bikes and posing for photos.
I’d been outside in the sun for several hours and I was ready to go check out the inside of the dealership. The one thing that I notice every time I’m at Northwest H-D is that the ladies at the front counter always greet everyone who walks through their doors with a huge smile and a friendly “Hi, welcome to Northwest H-D! Can we help you find anything?” and today was no different.
I hadn’t been in the shop 5 minutes when I heard the “I just bought a new bike” bell being rung by a proud and happy new Harley owner. At the same time, and in unison, the sales staff gathered and honked the horns of the motorcycles parked on the showroom floor. It was loud and it was cool!
The Parts & Accessories Department had a line of people at their counter too. Some were picking up parts, some were ordering parts and some were getting info and asking questions.
Upstairs in the Motorclothes Department the ladies were busy helping customers try on leathers, helmets and boots and checking people in and out of the dressing rooms. I made several purchases for myself and a few lucky family members! I took my Harley bags and walked out to my bike to stow them away in my saddle bags.
It was just about 3 pm when Northwest H-D owners Julio Valdenegro and Joe Deck stepped onto the stage. They took a moment to thank everyone who participated, attended and supported the 21st Annual Big Bad Bike Show. They also gathered most of their staff and thanked them for their hard work.
Julio then announced the names of each winner while Joe presented each one with a custom-made trophy and shook their hands.
Congratulations to the following class winners:
Sportster – Chis Urner, 2013 H-D Iron 883
Dyna – Travis VanWeerdhuizen, 2004 H-D FXD
Softail – Jerry Penor, 2013 H-D FLSTC Heritage
Touring – Kevin Lamar, 2011 H-D Road Glide Ultra
Metric – Brad Hall, 1985 Honda Shadow
Custom – Brad Hall, 2013 H-D Sportser
Trike – Thom Ritter, 2011 H-D Tri Glide
Employee – Will DeMars, 2015 H-D Road Glide
Vintage – Merlin Kynaston, 1942 H-D WLA
Best in Show – Brad Hall, 2013 H-D Sportster
People’s Choice – Elizabeth Cleveland, 2018 H-D Street Glide
I personally would like to thank all of the Northwest H-D staff, especially their Marketing Mgr, Kyler Locke for a job well done!
Be sure to stop the dealership on August 12th and check out the Fitz Army high flying stunt show!
For details on that event and other exciting Northwest Harley-Davidson events check out their ads in Quick Throttle Magazine, their facebook page and their website: www.NWHarley.com
To see more Big Bad Bike Show Photos go to our website: www.QuickThrottle.com and check out our gallery.